Minatitlan   -    Thirteen people, including a child, were killed Friday when a group of unidentified gun­men opened fire on a party in the violence-wracked eastern Mexican state of Veracruz, officials said. The Secretariat of Public Safety said the gunmen arrived at a family reunion in Mina­titlan asking to see some­one named “El Becky’ -- the owner of a local bar -- before opening fire.

It said seven men, five wom­en, and a child were killed, and four others injured in the attack. There was no known motive for the shooting, but Veracruz is plagued with or­ganised crime and bloody gun battles frequently erupt between rival drug gangs.

More than a quarter of a mil­lion people have been killed since 2006 when the govern­ment of then-president Felipe Calderon launched a crack­down on drug traffickers.